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THE TOPICAL TURK., Issue 15641, 4 November 1914
THE TOPICAL TURK.
BELATED APOLOGY. MEANING OF THE OIL TANKS. FIRST TARGET ALWAYS. GENERAL SITUATION GRAYER. NORTH SEA SHUT. EDGE OF A WIDER STRUGGLE. [By A. SrEXCE. - } Prince Said Halim, Grand Vizier of Turkey, may be a -well-meaning man. He is certainly no great friend of Enver Bey's war-steerers, and he seems to have been genuinely distressed over what was done in the Black Sea on or about Thursday, October 29. So, it is stated^—on Renter's Authority, too —that ho lias apologised to the Powers. He may lose his life for that act, for Enver Bey and his friends are believers in the most crude of all political expedients —the expedient of assassination. It is hard to discern how the rent which has been lorn in our web of relations with Turkey ran bo mended by a simple apology. There is, for instance, the damage which has been done to property. This may run into millions-. Novo-Rossiisk, one of tho places bombarded, is the part of outlet for th« product of th a great ■petroleum wells of Orozni. It is a town of oil tanks and grain elevators. The former have been set ahliizo, the latter knocked down. Apolo-
gies. oven by a Grand Vizier, will not quite restore, them. Tlieodosia also has been a growing grain and oil port, especially f-ince 1304, when Sehastopol was made a military port pure and simple, and its trade passed to other towns on the Crimean coast.
More serious still is the, case of Odessa. Commercially this city k the chief seaport of Russia, 'and, in favorable years, its exports are, twice as high as those of St. Petersburg. Inside the bay at Odessa. there are six harbors ff r general purpose*, ;i special potroleum harbor, and the semipiivate harbor of a wealthy concern kr.ov.ii ae the Russian Company for Navigation and O.mimei-oe. This place seems t'i have Uon fchelhd ah-o. Said Halim's distiess, tears, and apolocy are well enough, but no amount of tears will put out a. flaming oil tank. OIL TANKS AS FIRST TARGET.
Tin. raid carried out in the Black Sea ln*t week is therefore something more than a national affront to Rii-ssia. It is damage done at points whore that damage hurls most, Iri a. world which is now becoming a. world of petrol fin. Turco-GermJits sei tila/iiiK; a large p:.rt of the oil v.h'ih IJiitain requires for her c:ti] una lines and airship*. I'eihjpf people may have forsj.itten that :i. similar cnici-pr.fcj was one of the first undertaken by the Em den. Sh? chilled the Bnnna Oi ! C-ompn.ny's premises at Miidrns. Viewed in this general light, tii- :v-1 of \vai- in th«- Black Sea l-e;-0m..-s fromething more ihr.n an culinary piece of destruction. Ii is. apparently, pan of a voiy d-cen seh une. WHO EIRICI") FIRST.' Wliat I anticipated yesterday might .happen over the .shooiintr in the Black Sea has happened. They are beginning to throw nil res of recrimination at each other as to. who fired first. There is an oili, ;ial ■ message which reads: The Austro-Gcrman assertion that the. Russian fleet commenced hostilities against the Turkish squadron is a gross invention, intended to mislead public opinion at Constantinople. Tin's was to lie expected, and it probably explains why tiie I'ussinn fleet did not put out from Sehastopol at once. When, the actual bombardment began at XovoPossiisk every care was taken to shoot away '.he. wireless installation, so that Sehastopol should not know soon enough that a grave r.ct of war had been committed. What no Austro-Gcrman assertion will ever be able to explain is why a fleet of doubtful intent came, to be. so near the coast of Russia at such a time of tension. If the Russian Admiral had gone to sea and fired into the Goeben without further question, he would have been only taking an ordinary naval measure of precaution. Some of our sentries in the South African War, seeing some doubtful figure loom up on the picket line, at night, were wise in their day and generation. They put it to the. intruder this way: "Half!" Rang. "Who goes there?" ' GOEREX IX EVIDENCE,
The Goehen's share in the Black Sea. l-.onih.irdment is mentioned to-day. It is stated that she engaged Sehastopol at a mile, range—a. risky operation. Her fire was directed at a railway tunnel, which is probable enough. Then she fired 116 shells. A wireless station intercepted a message: "Am damaged; going to Constatntinoplo for repairs."
The story should be read with reserve. If thei Goeben really engaged Sehastopol, perhaps half an hour's duel would he sufficient to convince Admiral Goschen that Stamboul was the best place to steam for.
IS THE REAL ARMAGEDDON COMING?
Real, literal Armageddon—the Armageddon of the Bible—may come, and on the very plains in Palestine of vrhich the Bible speaks. It would be a mighty fulfilment of inspired revelation. Perhaps the matter may be left with the mention, wonderful as "the theme undoubtedly is. The great ultimate is vast and dim; the iawdry and immediate presses. The tawdry and the immediate are sufri-fi-rntlv conveyed in the message given by the Rome correspondent of the London 'Times.' Turkey's attacks have caused a profound imprcGsion. aud it is expected that thfy will involve ihe participation of other countries in \tar. Italy could not remain indifferent in the event of Turkey being in Egypt and on the Red Sea, which would*'threaten_ the interests of Italian colonies in Africa, It is evident that there will be intervention by Rumania and Greece.
That is ihe message. What does it mean? Primarily, that the. attack on the Suez Canal may prove an undreamed reality. The Briton general who now has to toll off his vanguard.--, main guards, and I main bodies on the Palestine su\* ol th* Canal muc-t he a busy man. I'rabahly \ \.\«v\oA\ca aw wow cuV> on the FA. Gi&T / elevation, shunt 30 miles horn Port Said. I Then; ift another elevation of the desert ' near Lake Tiuiseh. end hi%h ground back ion i/;<«<? [loinis ol vantage. i .Meantime Italy will watch. She does not want to tight — not yd. A message tad&d Wcime, October. 27, euflkientlv ex- ( i whv. On that date the ' Secolo, 1 a ' ).V))an paper, /irotcsteu againsY YiaY? »eing tranciormeo' Su(o a. vast field for sup- , nhes of grain, meat, motor cars, and J \ \wc > «2s®Es«k "tot &&<&»- Hungary. There is the cloren foot. Italy )is poor; ihe Austrian markets gape; eo)<} is the thing of tho moment. Bat if deki Pasha, or Zakki Pasha (or whatever the ! cables call him), faxes a pa&Eaße oi the Canal, all will bo diSerent. Italy will have to a.ct,or Tripoli passes away from , hex. I
The part which Greece and Rumania may plav is different. Both will go with us, no doubt, if they go at all, but the fighting value of Greece is not much. Rumania's army, to he aure, «njoy» the greatest reputation on paper; but she has not yet been proved in battle, and she Will move as slowly ns she -conveniently can. Perhaps the "stoppage oi the wheat output through tha Dardanelles may move Jier to. a' decision. The fighting army of the Balkans is really the army of Bulgaria, aid. one at the tjreaiest tacticians in th«
world is her General Dimifcrieff. Bulgaria will ; she says, stay neutral Her national feeling is ' njl, bnt the feeling of her rulers is more or less pro-German. Cables to-day state that she may soon be compelled to . formulate a fateful decision. She herself says that she will do nothing unless Turks seek to cross her territory. Lastly, there is that vague congeries of nationalities the United States. The cables fay that she must begin soon, for she has Mohammedan subjects in the Philippines. A lot she cares about those few Moslems! Tt is Wall Street that will talk, if the talk is to be for war. Wall Street wilL not care >to see the Dardanelles shut against United States chips. NORTH SEA CLOSED. "ITiere are cwo serious messages which require to be read together. One is tbat,\ owing to indiscriminate ndne-laying, the North Sea has been closed. This probably means that the Admiralty has been compelled to give up the daily sweepingof trade tracks to Norway, Sweden, ana Denmark: Formerly these were kept open at great etrain on the Navy, and English skippers and bona-Bde neutrals were given such private information as seemed necessary from day to day. Mr Winston Churchill has " hung on-" to the last feature, and if he now says that the North Sea must be dosed that i 6 the last word. There is always some silver lining to the darkest cloud. One feels fervently thankful that the British merchant, who has been feeding the German armies, will no longer be able to get his ettiff in through Copenhagen and Rotterdam.
Patriotio feeling grows impatient of restraint when this food for Germans is concalm.lv. One merely feels inclined to say: " Y«?, Mr Churchill, go straight ahead; close the North Sea. If they are putting in 1,000 mines, you just put in ten million mines. Bring 'Jack' back to port, and give him a daily stretch ashore. Shut up this strip of water for good and. all, and then lie back and laugh!" CHANGED SEA SITUATION.
'Th ?■ second message, tielluig- of the changed conditions at sea, is supplied by the London • Times.' It 6tat«s Editorially that the lesson of the Hermes teaches that our lines of communication with franco are by no means aa safe as in the early days of the war. This is a great point. Long ago Sir John French moved his base front ports in the - North of France to St.. Xazairc. in the Bay of Biscay. 'The, Tunes' now fays ominously that "the increasing risk of our strategy compels our ships toremain it sea.'' Then it adds, hnppfulJr enough, that these losses of ships will recur but v/o will make them good bv rapid building. And still one wonders .1 litt'.e. An impassable mine-fif-ld might be laid by Britain between, Dovrr. But what about the northern outlet, of the- Xorth Sea round the She)lands? The militnv operations in Belgium form the deciding >ictor. "Tommy" is now dealing as hard as ho knows how with th« Pinnan nbn No. 2. A number of silly m.-«-i."es * have told us that the Kaiser think/that th" Belgian must- b«j won bv November 1. otherwise he will •live to" fall bark on the Rhine. It is only u'c-Mi.vd. of course. The effort needed to the Germans back through reforti-fi.-d H"!«;tun will be loop. The struggle a* YpW for instance, is bloody and imrnedial.':' the Rhine is so far away that it is not worth wlii'e discussing - .
LORD WELLESLEVS DEATH. Lord Richard Wellesley, captain, m the, Grenadier Guards, and a descendant of tha great Duke of Wellington, met his death i - n battle on Thursday last, near enough to the Duke's great battlefield at Waterloo. It seems like a century of the Army n historv raised suddenly in one small cable .■run' Sir John Mooro trained it; the. Sreat Duke used it; it was beginning to I fall suvav from the old model as early as the time'of the Crimean War; it fell away faster in the next 50 years; now it is, as far as the First Army goes, on itsl feeb a«ain. Sir John French and Sir William Nicholson were the chief remedial men. In spite of the freezing grasp of the War Office they have re-enacted the role of feir John Moore after the lapse of a century. As for Richard Lord Wellesley, no doubt he met the last phase with the constitutional aplomb of the Wellesleys. It runs in families. One of the last cannon shots fired at Waterloo passed over the withers of the Duke's horse and struck Uxbridge, his te.-ond in command. Uxbridge exclaimed : "Bv Jove. I have lost my leg! The Duke briefly replied: "By Jove! have vou ?" THOSE GREAT GUXS. There are two cables on the gun which is new to war. One is that the Germans have maintained the secret of their 42centimetre gun (say 16.8 in) for six years. They must hare done so, if they had 16 then, for not a word about it has appeared in print, as fan as I know. The English magazines are generally far_ behind. The -Deutsche Revue' sometimes has a little to sav on matters of this kind, and the Von Lobell annual reports used to furnish a rather useful guide before they ceased publication. For the present wc" drift on the dark sea of magazine guesswork. 1 trust that in my first article. 'Kreiir Alobil.' and others, I sufficiently exploded the myth about the alleged superio'ritv of the French field artillery. Jt> does not now exist, There is another repott to-dav r,f a 52-centimetre gun (say 20 Sim. mentioned as being mounted on the island of Borkum. Pure guesswork. The chief point, to remember about tha German heavy artillery is that the siege of the guardian' French fortress of Belfort, was begun on October 25, and since them we have, heard nothing. BATTLE OF BELGIUM. We have daily reports of the battle of Belgium, few of which mean anything. To-day we are told that 30,000 Landsturm recently arrived at Antwerp. If the Home papers'speak truly, the Landstura coma forward for battle gaily enough. Their trains are decorated with ribbons, national colors, flowers, and branches of trees. The cable takes pains to fell us that the roads to Ghent arc being kept clear, in the event of a retrograde move being necessary. Xo doubt. They are also, no doubt, being kept clear in the event of a forward move, or at least for the artillery, which must now be parsing through Brussels to engage British ships off the coast. We have not been told much of this fleet bombardment lately, but ii battleships such as tha Venerable were called up, the situation must be mgent enough, one way or the THE IREBIZOND STORY. Jo-d'V we hear that a Russian cxpediticnaiv' force lias been landed, at Trebizomd, 'a peat strategic point on the coast of Asia. Mtnor. and a point well calculated to meet Turkev bv direct stroke. If it w merely an advance guard seeking to maka a lodgment, it is probable. But a blow by mai'or forces so early is nnhkely. The Odwa and Crimean commaitds., tot instance, at« now locked up in the buttle ict the, Vistula. The High Commissioner ) has alco previously to\d. Mb VW, *&»> Vno\a (Caucasus army hud gone to the front, too. I J hare never l>een able to nffUT* out tha \\\y&\ as much, ot a militaire. ) From higher *ourres—&e "Powftgn | for instance — we know that the more ' through Syria- ano 1 Palestine has long been under observation. No need to doubt that word "ii it comes from B\icn an \b*»ob.\*l. ) sairw. "^" e TO»KSwfoS» \s&*ss*Rfc> \Vs»'fore, :'s that eMor £&<r phns #t' £h<? JfIJCS have bevn unexpectedly upset, is withdrawal oi Busfiian troops from tow- ) casus to assist ihe moremettt, m Poland. The nee<i for fire Caucasus troops v&S foreseen.
THE TOPICAL TURK., Issue 15641, 4 November 1914
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